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Wenge Tone?


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I understand the subjectivity of tone, I'm just looking for a general idea -

Building a roughly LP style guitar - (mahogany body and neck, Gibson scale length, tune-o-matic bridge and tailpiece - still deciding between set and through neck, depending on what it looks like I can get out of the wood I have) if I replaced the standard LP maple top with one of wenge, am I looking at something that will brighten up the tone of mahogany somewhat, like maple does, or am I looking at another "dark" wood that will lend itself to a tone more like that of an all mahogany LP? Any opinions? I know there's a million factors in what determines the sound of any given guitar, I'm just curious what other peoples opinions are before I start and before I start looking for pickups and start making templates.

thanks!

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I understand the subjectivity of tone, I'm just looking for a general idea -

Building a roughly LP style guitar - (mahogany body and neck, Gibson scale length, tune-o-matic bridge and tailpiece - still deciding between set and through neck, depending on what it looks like I can get out of the wood I have) if I replaced the standard LP maple top with one of wenge, am I looking at something that will brighten up the tone of mahogany somewhat, like maple does, or am I looking at another "dark" wood that will lend itself to a tone more like that of an all mahogany LP? Any opinions? I know there's a million factors in what determines the sound of any given guitar, I'm just curious what other peoples opinions are before I start and before I start looking for pickups and start making templates.

thanks!

Wenge is a dense, hard wood, sometimes described as the 'poor mans ebony'. I'd expect it to make it even brighter than a maple top would.

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As I have two guitars made out of solid wenge I think I can comment on this one :D

It would deffinitly brighten up things. But thats not all it would do. I find wenge to have a "snappy" attack with more weird overtones that make the guitar as a whole sound much more "full" and pleasing.

Try tapping on a peice of wenge than a peice of maple while holding the board in diffrent places and with your ear up real close to the board. The maple makes a kinda "donk" but the wenge is like "ding", rings much longer and sounds much better. I can't really describe it other than good. You'll just have to try it for yourself. :D

I have to warn you though that wenge is the hardest wood I've ever worked with. Other than the fact that it's sooooo hard and it dulls your tools it also tears out on the router like thers no tomorrow. It's also extremely heavy.

You have to weigh the pros and cons and make up your own conclusions. I personally will never be using wenge again even though I love the look and sound.

Edited by Godin SD
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Can't really comment re: tonewood on an electric, but I've found that other than the giant pores of doom, it's not too bad to work with. Bit splitty, although I had not problems routing it, but the look (and cost, and availability) make it a good candidate for neck-through laminates, which is what I'm planning on using it for. Seems crazy!heavy for a body, though.

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Thanks guys - appreciate the feedback.

Yeah, I have worked with the wood before, so I'm aware of the difficulty involved in working with it. Dulls things like heck, and the splinters are very, very painful. But I appreciate you guys taking the time to mention it.

Yeah, I've got some left over, I want to use it because it's beautiful, but I don't want to work with the stuff after this is gone.

Thanks!

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If you're doing a top on a les Paul.....and you're considering Wenge I think tonewise it would be perfect........the only downside would be (like mentioned before) the hardness of the material.

Cutting it with circular saw.......it sounds like your sawing a frozen cat. It just screams. It's the weirdest sound I ever heard and it got the attention of all the guys in the shop.

"What the F. was that you're sawing??" Just a piece of Wenge, mate!

Leaving them wonder what the heck this strange chocolate color African wood may be.

With the Wenge being so darn hard.....I suspect carving a top on a LP to be a B*tch.

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